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01st Feb 2024

Woman who pretended to be Madeleine McCann explains why she did it

Kat O'Connor

Julia Wandelt claimed to be missing girl Madeleine McCann

The woman who pretended to be missing girl Madeleine McCann has opened up about why she lied to the world.

Julia Wandelt caused uproar last year after lying about being the kidnapped British toddler.

She set up an Instagram account claiming to be Madeleine and made headlines all around the world.

Julia caused extreme distress for Madeleine’s parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, but apologised to the heartbroken parents after her DNA test came back negative.

Julia recently spoke to the ‘Why Do You Hate Me?’ podcast about why she pretended to be Madeleine McCann.

“I thought about [the harmful effect] but I had to put myself in first place because this is my life and I really wanted to know who I am,” she said.

Julia continued: “I knew that it could make them feel sad, but they want to find their child, so I believe that this is a hope and I felt that I was doing right.”

She opened up about her difficult childhood and admitted that there are large parts of it that she can not remember.

Julia contacted the police when she believed she could be Madeleine McCann, but they didn’t listen to her claims.

“I called them so many times, I called them and said the same things, but no one treated me seriously, even when I say that I recognise the person.

“Even if they don’t believe me, they should check it. But they didn’t, and it was weird that they acted like this,” she continued.

Ms. Wandelt said she would never return to social media because of the online abuse she faced after she made the allegations.